Oil Me Up

I am not terribly natural. I’m mostly a ball of stress and caffeine getting through the day on lorazepam and Advil until nighttime and my lover Unisom comes to call. (We’ve been together since my pregnancy with Joey, but he still gets me into bed every night.)

I asked my OB if I could have an epidural at the curbside when I got to the hospital.

I have a patented cold cocktail of drugs that I take every time my nose starts to itch and yeah okay I’ll probably die of an ulcer, but it’s like my sinuses don’t even exist anymore! Yay!

I don’t like feeling..well…much of anything, and certainly nothing unpleasant.

And I tend to think that the best ways to get through those feelings are chemicals. Tasty tasty chemicals that they put into pill forms and I can wash down with a glass of white wine from Aldi.

(I’m KIDDING. I don’t have a problem.)

(Except that I only buy my wine from Aldi.)

So I am not crunchy. I’m the opposite of crunchy. I’m like a barely cooked chocolate chip cookie, which is oddly also how I make my chocolate chip cookies. (Or Seared Dough Balls, as my loving husband calls them.)

I have heard people tell of essential oils and their benefits. My sister loves them. A bunch of people I love and respect love them. I was sure they were lovely, but why am I gonna fool around with lavender and witch hazel when I have a perfectly good analgesic RIGHT HERE y’all. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Well, last week, I was desperate. I went to Dermy for the most hallowed of traditions for the Irish, right up there after Holy Mass and dinner with mam…the shave biopsy.

(Pasty girls say hey!)

Anyway, it wasn’t healing the way it should because I’m a bleeder and have awful skin and my bra was rubbing on it and wow, you do not need to know all this stuff about a random part of my side. But it was PAINFUL. And even more painful, I was thinking I was going to have to go back to the doctor to see what to do about it and then I’d have to drop the kids off and take a shower and make an appointment and ugh, I’d rather die of sepsis.

So I was whining about this to my sister, because at approximately 50 weeks pregnant and mother to the most…um…high maintenance toddler on the planet, she really needs to hear about how my bra is bugging me because it’s rubbing a cut under my arm. I don’t know why she likes hanging out with me.

And she was like, “You’re not going to like what I have to say.”

Ugh. I know. I have to go to the doctor.

“Oils.”

Ugh. Worse.

But again, desperate. So I let her mix me up a little jar of something and something that smells like incense during Holy Week and I slathered it all over my weeping wound and went to bed like, “Hah! I’ll show her. This is ridiculous.”

And damned if the thing wasn’t, like, healed by the morning. And the secondary wounds that the bandaids gave me (because I have super sensitive pale skin, just to up the sexy quotient) were totally gone too.

So it took me like twelve hours to be converted to essential oils.

I was like scanning my body, looking for things to oil. I considered throwing away my Mucinex for a bottle of coconut oil and something. I put it on cold sores and eczema and that weird crusty spot on my scalp and…ugh oh man, I’m all about the essential oils.

Ugh. My sister was right. Again.

I should give Poldark another chance.

Still thankful.

I wrote this last year, and if anything it’s more true today. This has been a hard year. A really hard year. But it’s been a year I’ve been able to be here, and that means it’s been wonderful.

***

Six years ago today my husband lost his wife. My daughter lost her mother, whom she’d never really remember. A hole was ripped in people I would come to love very soon afterwards that nothing can ever fill, no matter how happy and fulfilling our lives are now.

There’s nothing I can do about that. And it sucks.

I can do some stuff though. I can be here for my husband. I can tell my daughter stories I’ve learned from other people so it feels like they’re her memories, like her mama is still here with us not only in spirit. I try to do those things every day, and more so on days like today.

The biggest thing I can do, though, is so simple. I can be thankful.

I am thankful for my husband. We don’t agree about everything. We are very stubborn. We have our share of disagreements and yeah, sometimes I look back at skinny, free 2010 me and wonder what happened and WHY. But I am always, always thankful for him. I am constantly reminded that I could be without him. In the blink of an eye, my life and marriage could be over and I can never forget that. I am so so thankful to have had four and a half years of marriage with him already.

I am thankful for my children. I get to stress about birthday parties. I get to potty train. I get to lie awake at night and worry about how she’s feeling and whether I’m doing the right thing or whatever. I am so unbelievably privileged that I get to do that every day.

I am thankful that I get to live in my dream home, happily and healthily.

I am thankful that I get to be 29, even though I’m mad about turning 30. I am thankful to have this time with my mom, with my sister, with HER mom. I am thankful to be friends with her brother’s new wife and watch them start their family. I am thankful to be here to see my niece and when my brother falls in love and gets married.

I am thankful for budgeting and sick kids that climb in bed with me and then need help with their own blankets at 3:30am and gross colds and grocery shopping and taking out the trash and those few quiet minutes at the end of the day when my husband and I are finished with everything we need to do and can just be together.

I am so lucky, and I am so thankful.

What I Do All Day

When I was in college and grad school, I was super productive. I was trained by years of homeschooling to be a self-starter who loved her schedule and to-do list and got stuff done. My favorite day of the semester was when I went through and scheduled everything that I had due so I would be finished at least a week ahead of time. I thought I was pretty hot stuff at the whole “getting-things-done” thing.

I had no idea.

I had no idea what real productivity meant. Because there is NOTHING as productive as a mother whose children are otherwise occupied for a few hours outside of the house. If the State Department offered babysitting, we could figure out this whole Middle East thing. And do a few loads of laundry.

My kids were at their grandparents for like five hours this afternoon. I got the following accomplished.

  • Cleaned up from breakfast and the day of school.
  • Made flashcards for all the subjects for the coming week.
  • Pick up rest of house.
  • Vacuum up after Buddy’s toast breakfast in the living room. Because we’re classy.
  • Stage and take pictures of two new Etsy products.
  • Upload listings for two new Etsy products.
  • Order supplies and schedule three new orders that came in today. (Including figuring out where Wailai is in the world.)
  • Almost finished a knitting project I’ve been working on for like forever.
  • Put three coats of paint on some wooden hearts (oooh stay tuned guys!)
  • Sealed a set of coasters.
  • Did four loads of laundry.
  • Changed kids’ sheets and cleaned up their rooms.
  • Made all the beds.
  • Washed and dried and straighened hair. (This is a PROCESS, y’all.)
  • Watched episode 1 of Poldark.
  • Fell in love with Poldark.
  • Texted Sister to see when Poldark would start getting Biblical with the redhead kitchen maid.
  • Was assured it was coming soon.
  • Ordered groceries.
  • Ordered cold meds for husband.
  • Washed hands like eight times.
  • Went through emails.
  • Prepped for meeting tomorrow.
  • Started work on a headband.
  • Almost finished a super long knitting project that I am so done with.
  • Cleaned the basement.
  • Cleaned out kitchen cabinets of candy from Halloween.
  • Sat and stared at the snow softly falling and counted my blessings.
  • Did some more laundry.
  • Wrote this post.

Grad school me was cute and skinny and hungry all the time, but Mom Me? I get shiz DONE.

New Year, New You

Everything this time of year is all “THIS IS MY YEAR GUYS! THIS IS THE YEAR I GET IT TOGETHER!!! HERE’S ALL THE THINGS I WANT TO CHANGE ABOUT MYSELF!”

Well, I’m pretty happy with myself. I have an awesome marriage, an awesome family, and an amazing house. I get to homeschool my kids, and I have amazon subscribe and save to bring toilet paper to my house every month. I’m basically living the middle-class dream.

However, I can get behind this resolution thing.

1.) Drink more coffee.

Sometimes I forget about my coffee and I find that by noon I haven’t had more than half a cup. And then it’s too late to drink more because I’m an old woman and can’t drink coffee ten hours before I go to sleep.

So I’m going to get better about forcing as much caffeine into my system before I get distracted.

2.) Embrace the nap.

Guys, I get to nap almost every day. I’m blessed with sleepy children and an open schedule and dammit, I get up at 5 am most days and homeschool all day and by 1 pm? I AM DONE GUYS. D. U. N. DONE. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that. I refuse to be ashamed of that.

3.) Admit that I just don’t like fish.

I get that fish is healthy, but when I force myself to cook it for dinner I just end up pushing it around my plate and feeling bad making my kids eat it because they don’t get to wait until they go to bed to demolish a pint of coffee ice cream.

Just make more vegetables instead.

4.) Know that I’m not a bad person if I leave things undone on my to-do list.

I’m a bit of a control freak (I know, shocking?) and I can’t STAND it when I don’t get everything done I’m “supposed” to. But really, the only list that matters is “keep children alive” and that I’ve never failed at yet. So cut myself some slack on the laundry.

5.) I don’t have to read 150 books this year.

I read 154 books last year and that’s awesome, but thanks to Goodreads and my obsessive nature I think that’s what I should be doing every year. Even though this year I have a business and a kid that’s older and doing more school and generally more obligations and you know what? Just read for fun. You’re not in grad school anymore.

6.) Let Squeaks keep her own room organized.

Again with the controlling. But she’s almost 8, she knows how to clean, and honestly with the mashup of Frozen, My Little Pony, and Random Unicorn Crap? It’s never going to look like a Pottery Barn Kids catalog. I’ll reclaim it when she moves out and I wish I had treasured these moments of unorganized, brightly colored chaos more.

7.) Organize the craft/homeschooling closet so getting the laminator out isn’t a harrowing experience.

This is as close a legit resolution I will make this year.

8.) Watch all the shows my sister has told me to because she’s never steered me wrong.

Alias Grace? GUYS GO WATCH IT NOW. AND THEN CALL ME AFTER EPISODE 5.

9.) Drink more water.

It makes it easier to drink more wine.

(I’M KIDDING.)

10.) Generally access my uncrazy side, as Darryl would say.

#blessed

Last week, the hashtag “onedayhh”  (one day hollywood housewife) made the rounds on Instagram, showcasing people’s “real” lives. Sure. Uh-huh. I decided to do mine here.

 

Good morning, Instagram! I like to start the day with a smile. #riseandshine #fivethirtyisn’tthatearly

It’s fine. I’m a nice enough person that I never have to be with my husband and we always are nice to each other anyways. #nfpissuchagoodbondingexperience #heavenhadbetterbeworthit #i’llstopwiththeheresynow

It’s grainy because of all of the love. There is no fighting in bed. #snuggles

School time! No one fights me about writing neatly and that cereal certainly did not end up on the floor! #homeschoolmama

Sometimes we chant in Latin and no one gets mad at me and asks to watch My Little Pony instead. #traddie

My garage isn’t sinking. You’re sinking. #denialnotjustariverinegypt

I read the Catechism and the Bible every morning and it’s never prefaced by a prayer “PLEASE DEAR LORD LET ME BE CALM TODAY PLLEEEEAAASSSEEE.” #whyisyours?

I just like all the colors and don’t need them to hide the evidence of crushing exhaustion and wine. #hahahaha

No one fights in the car on the way to my moms’ group. #siblinglove!

Okay the coffee and other people part of the day was actually just straight up awesome. I’m not playing.

Sought out a homeschool Mass with our local Catholic homeschool group and it was lovely and the kids didn’t fight over this piece of paper all through the Liturgy of the Word at all. #theyrejustgoodinchurch #dontknowwhatIdid

He was here the whole hour. Never on the floor under the pew! #mylittleboy

I love working on meaningless crap for my kids that I know they’re decide the don’t want after two seconds. Like a scarf for a toy car. #pinterestmama #crafty

Dinner time! All in one dishes are amazing! The kids can ignore the vegetables and meat together! Hahahha, I’m kidding. My kids eat everything! #homemademama #fiveaday

My secret to meal prep? A combination of planning and prepping ahead! Not Disney Jr. Not at all. #blessed

Oh well! I might as well indulge a little if it’s left! #winetime #alittlewonthurt

This is the same glass! It just…magically changed colors! I like to craft in the evenings, working on cute things for my munchkins. #scarfnotforme #itwouldmatchmyeyestho

I would never eat this in five minutes while watching an episode of the Office from ten years ago. Please. #notananimal

 

I just like the way these jars all look on my table before bed. I don’t need every single one of them to slow the relentless passage of time on my pasty Irish skin. #naturallygoodskin

My husband and I fall asleep in each other’s arms. I don’t stay awake watching Criminal Minds on a tablet until he begs me to stop the horrific noises from the show. #marriedmybestfriend #wedoeverythingtogether

Well there you have it! A totally true day in my life!

Playbook

I don’t mean to overplay the Martha Stewart thing, but I couldn’t pass up this gem from last month’s issue. Martha has a fool-proof playbook for hosting the best Thanksgiving ever.

Alas, we cannot all be Martha. Here is my Thanksgiving playbook.

Two Weeks Out:

Marvel at fact that it is November.

Buy wine.

Drink that wine.

It’s a normal week, yo.

One Week Out:

Buy simple syrup. Use in Old Fashioneds. This is still a normal week

Think about what dress you want to wear.

Make sure you have a stash of false eyelashes and your palettes are all up to date.

Argue with husband about how you need the new holiday palettes.

Sunday Before:

Half heartedly make a list for the grocery.

Make a list in your planner about how to make all the food. That makes you feel good and in control.

Plan makeup look.

Make sure sister is availabe to take your Christmas card photo. Start practicing putting children in front of you to make yourself look smaller.

Maybe call relatives and make sure they’re planning on showing up.

Monday the Week of:

Go to grocery.

Swear. A lot.

Put food away and ignore until Wednesday night.

Day Before:

Get up and forgo showering. Afterall, you’ll be working all day in the kitchen.

Decide to go back to bed with the kids and then hang out at your mom’s.

Come home, and figure you have plenty of time to nap with the kids.

Get up after nap. Run around like a crazy person.

Swear some more.

Shove pizza at husband, children. BECAUSE IT’S THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING AND I’M BUSY.

Husband inquires about why you’re watching Dateline on your tablet while cooking.

BECAUSE IT’S THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING AND I’M BUSY.

Set table. Yell at children NOT TO TOUCH ANYTHING SO HELP ME GOD.

Work until like midnight and collapse into bed. Just in time to get up and go to all the families.

Day of:

Stagger through Mass and husband’s family, mentally running through a list of all the things you have to do.

Drink a ton of coffee.

Get home. Little jittery.

Figure you should start drinking wine.

That calms you down.

Run around like a crazy person.

Look at silver that you forgot to polish. Meh, whatever. No one has silver anymore. They don’t anticipate it being clean too.

Make sure ham is cooked. Don’t waste time fooling around with turkey. That’s just a recipe for disaster.

Have husband make you a seasonal drink.

Ahhh. There’s the spirit.

Welcome guests lovingly into home. From the couch where you’ve collapsed from too much almost Christmas cheer.

Knit

I’m an unconventional knitter. I learned when I was like 11 or 12 from my mom and a bunch of old ladies in an abandoned woolen mill, where we’d gather every week in a room that for some reason had booths and knit. My brother and sister and I would sit at one booth- John doing something, Colleen and I both working on scarves for our American Girl dolls, and my mom and her septuagenarian friends would work on more advanced projects (like scarves for real people) at another booth.

If there was a moment in my life that you could most accurately hashtag “homeschooled,” it would probably be that one.

Also, I pretty much only learned to cast on and do the garter stitch in a row. So I could make squares AND rectangles, guys. Only one color. I hadn’t figured out stranding or even how to change skeins yet. Or binding off. I had to give my completed “projects” to my mom to finish them for me. But hey. My dolls were never cold again.

Anyway, I loved those mornings. It was before my mom was sick, before we started thinking about going back to school, before all of that. We had to stop going abruptly because of the first of the shots across the bow of our lives that signaled GUYS IT’S NOT 1999 ANYMORE, but anyway.

(I know 1999 wasn’t a picnic either for us. But it’s all hazy and cozy in my memory.)

I love the physicality of knitting. I picked it up again a few years ago because I watch a lot of TV with my husband and I need to be doing something while I’m doing that and my preferred method of hand occupation is eating or drinking but, well, I like being able to fit through doors and having a liver. So knitting! Thanks to google, I figured out most of the other things I was supposed to know how to do.

But none of them came easily. I couldn’t imagine why. I’d picked up knitting perfectly easily when I was little, and even watching knitting videos on YouTube- it just wasn’t the way I held the yarn. And so the stitches didn’t really make sense to me. I figured I was doing it wrong. COULD THOSE LADIES IN THE ABANDONED MILL HAVE LIED TO ME????

So last night I was researching fair isle patterns because Squeaks wants a blanket for her doll that is pink and white. And, like every time I’d researched stuff before, both English/American style and continental style came up. Well, obviously I knit English, because everyone does that and I’m right handed and continental is crazy hard and fast and whatever. But maybe it would help me learn the other stitches and techniques that I want to incorporate into my own little Just Say No to Alcoholism crafting. So I clicked on the link.

And guys….I learned how to knit continental style. I literally hold the yarn in a different hand than every person I’ve always tried to emulate. I thought I was doing it wrong, that it was just comfortable and because I LEARNED IN AN ABANDONED MILL I just did what was comfy and made the stitches.

But no! I’m not wrong! I’m just European.

This is gonna revolutionize my doll scarves, guys.

Image via pexels.com

Key to My Heart

You may have heard that Amazon has announced Amazon Key- a service in which you trust an Amazon person to roll up to your house in an unmarked van, let themselves into your house, and probably not murder you.

I read an article that said, “Let’s not be coy. You know you’re going to let them do it.”

Yeah. Probably.

I mean, I started with trusting them with my credit card info. Which, ten years ago, was a big deal. Then I trusted them not to damage my Clearblue Sticks. Which, when you have anxiety, is a big deal. And now I trust them not to poison my food or give me rotten meat or whatever with Prime Now, which is kind of a big deal to the last generation to grow up being afraid of candy from strangers.

(Yesterday, concerned I would have to put on real pants before trick or treat this weekend, I summoned a stranger with my phone to bring me candy. I know.)

So yeah, as creepy as it sounds to allow Amazon to just literally let themselves in your front door while YOU ARE NOT AT HOME, I’m probably like three weeks away from signing up.

That got me thinking- what else would I like to outsource to Amazon?

Childcare- If I could select the number of hours I’d need a babysitter and one would show up? And then when she spent the night watching my TV and not cleaning up after dinner I could just complain to Amazon and they’d comp me for the night? YAAASSS.

They probably wouldn’t hire ALL child molesters. Right?

Prescription Drugs- Okay so I actually have an online prescription drug service, and I usually refuse to use it because I like to vet my suppliers myself. So I can hear my husband rolling his eyes from here. But get this- I wouldn’t need a doctor to renew. Amazon would have lots of little doctors that they employ who would look at my records and be like “Um yeah, lady needs the Prozac she’s been on since the beginning of time. Just fill it.” No dragging children to the doctor for her to weigh and look judgmentally at me. How awesome would that be?

Other doctor-type things- Ladies, I’m thinking yearly exams here. If I could either just send in a kit (I do NFP- I know where my cervix is, thanks) or arrange a house call through Amazon? Oh my gosh. Think of the time it would free up. And you’d be a lot comfier in your house, am I right?

Confession- I’d like to summon a priest so I never had to leave my house. And there would have to be pick a priest options because I don’t like confessing to the same one more than once. I’m a little weird.

(Not weird like in what I’m confessing. That’s pretty boring, I think. But I just find the whole experience uncomfortable. Wonderful. But uncomfortable.)

Waxing- Enough said.

Haircuts- If I could get my hair cut without figuring out childcare? I’d…well, have much better hair.

Clothing- Oh wait, I already do this.

What would you outsource?

 

Heroine Addict

I recently finished  Samantha Ellis’ How to Be a Heroine. I liked it, she’s a fantastic writer, and I loved following her along her journey. She’s a little whiny at times- I mean, honestly. Not every female character is written to be a completely flawless role model for you. That’s not the point of writing women. I loved her depiction of growing up as an Iraqi Jewish girl in London and all the sexual and ethnic tensions that come with that.

Growing up as the treasured daughter of Whitey McWhiterson and his legally and sacramentally bound wife in Safe Little Haven, USA, I had quite a different upbringing. But I still read a ton, and I still identified with the women I read about, and had my share of heroine-lust throughout the years. It was fun to see, like Ellis, how these women hold up under further scrutiny.

Nancy Drew- ages 7-9

Nancy Drew was my first girl love. I devoured those books. I wanted to be just like her. I wanted titian hair (I convinced myself it was close to the ashy auburn I had in real life) and while I didn’t want MY mom to die, I certainly admired the freedom that great tragedy apparently lends you. I loved Nancy. I saw nothing unbelievable in any of those books, just amazing wonderful stories about an amazing wonderful woman.

Of course, I’ve read them again. As a grown-up. And honestly guys, they’re all the same book. Like. For serious. With different weapons. I realize now that there was no reason for her to be doing LITERALLY anything she does in those books, and for someone with no formal education and a freaking housekeeper she knew how to do literally everything.

And she was kind of a jerk to Bess about her body. Which as a mom with a mom bod I DON’T APPRECIATE NANCY.

I still love her.

Saddle Club Girls- ages 9-13

Oh these girls. Rich, happy, literally nothing touches them. I wanted to be all three of them at different times, depending on what actual crap was going on in my life. I mean, Carole’s mom is dead and presumably that’s hard to handle, but would you know it? Nope. Good ole Col. Whatever His Name Was is the perfect chaste widower dad and Carole grows up without an adoptive mother desperately googling “CHILD OCD SPECIALISTS IN *AREA*”

Oh sorry. Too close?

Cathy Earnshaw- age 12

I read Wuthering Heights for the first time when I was 12, sitting on the floor in my grandpa’s hospital room. I was still pretty unsure of what the actual mechanics of sex were, but it sounded a lot like what Cathy and Heathcliff wanted to get up to in that big old gothic mansion. And that sounded like fun.

In most of these fantasies, the role of Heathcliff was played by my grandfather’s middle aged Jewish cardiologist, a dude named Leonard.

It was a pretty boring time in my actual life.

As an adult, I’m like dear Lord guys, GET OVER YOURSELVES. First of all. Love is not that grand. It’s wonderful. And amazing. BUT NO ONE LITERALLY DIES OF A BROKEN HEART. Sheesh. Go clean something or I don’t know, TRY LOVING YOUR ACTUAL SPOUSES.

(And hey, if my husband ever asks why I was so dead set on staying at a castle on our honeymoon it definitely was not because of this book. Not. At all.)

Betsy Ray, age 9-whenever I die.

I read the Betsy Tacy books in reverse order- I found Betsy’s Wedding in a resale bin at the library and read it when I was like nine or ten. And then I fell in love with it and went back and read all of them and THEY ARE AMAZING GUYS GO GET THEM FOR YOUR CHILDREN. I have like three copies of each book.

But it’s the Betsy from Betsy’s Wedding that speaks to me the most, still. She’s honest and in love but not flighty and she and Joe make a real life together. And (most importantly I think) she admits when she’s being obnoxious as I tend to be obnoxious to my husband and need help admitting it. I’m suuuuper bad at admitting it. But Betsy’s not. She goes to church and is like, “All right God. Help me out here. I’m not being the best wife I can be and I need help.” And guess what? He helps her! Because He’s God. And that’s what He does. And THESE BOOKS SERIOUSLY GO BUY THEM.

As a mother, and someone who is not necessarily a writer but struggles with feeling like she has let all of herself go in the process of getting married and having children, watching Betsy struggle with that as well but not shirt her place int eh family is inspiring.

Scarlett O’Hara, age 12

This was my brief, not-so-flattering phase where I walked around saying things like “I don’t know why everyone whined about slavery.”

(Editor’s Note: I understand completely why everyone abhorred, not whined about, slavery.)

I fell hard for Book Rhett and hated Movie Rhett though so I had trouble reading it again after the initial one. I did keep a list of dirty parts written on a page and tucked in my copy. Because I was a little pervert apparently.

Now, I see Scarlett as she is- spoiled, manipulative, and completely unaware of her dignity as a woman. But with a seventeen-inch waist.

The Second Mrs. DeWinter, age 15

Guys, I loved Rebecca. Another English country manor on the moors where people moped around and loved inappropriate people and had sex in four-poster beds…huh, teenage Kathleen was a little weird, I’m starting to realize now.

Anyway. The Second Mrs. DeWinter is married to an older guy whose wife died tragically and she was young and pretty and sexy and perfect and dead so she gets to stay that way. And, you know, we get to know her name.

#2 mopes through the book, unmoved basically even by admissions of murder and tries to be like Rebecca and even lets her maid dress her up like Rebecca for a party which at the time I thought was tragic, not weird.

(It’s weird, guys.)

I read it over and over again for years until I met a widower and realized I was going to marry him but decided I wanted my children to know my real name. I know, selfish.

Also, you need a lot of chutzpah in that situation. #2 had negative chutzpah. She was a wet, whiny blanket. In fact, I have so many thoughts about this that I think I’m going to read my copy again and blog it. So get excited.

What about now, you ask? These were all fifteen years ago. You’re thirty now, Kathleen. Married, two kids, established in your community. Who are your heroines now?

Easy. My mom. The Blessed Mother. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. My faithful and loving friends. My sister. My daughter.

They really have it figured out. None of those ladies (except Betsy) really did.

Even if there is way less mansion sex in real life.

(And by less I mean none. No mansion sex.)

(It’s okay. A real, true, life-giving marriage is even better.)

Camping. With wine.

That is my Taco Bell face too.

We found Crunchy in time to come along!

This is how I like to camp. Wine and cheese.

 

 

Other people took care of my kids basically and I knit and read like three books.

 

 

Oops.

The best we could do.

Sometimes he listens to me.

He enjoyed stomping around in my boots.

Fishing in 20 mph winds and 45 degree weather. So much fun.

That’s how I feel about that.

Camper snuggles.

Guys. Our power went out and so we didn’t have any water and I still did my makeup. Bam.

It was a gorgeous weekend.